Friday, February 8, 2019

Princess Line Doll Clothes: Part 1


18" doll clothes pattern by valspierssews. Variation on 1843 to fit American Girl Doll

  • Mixing up gores and panels and princess line
  • Fabulous vintage panels
  • Using 1843 to create these designs


Mixing up Gores, Gussets, Godettes and Princess line panels

I rediscovered the panelled dress that I made some time ago. I went looking for the pattern. It's title is 8 gore dress so I thought I would do a bit of research on what gores were because I had a feeling that I was not naming it correctly.

First I looked up the meaning of gore. It seems it is synonymous with gusset. The dress making version comes from a word meaning arrow.
The following comes from Wikipedia:
The word is derived from Old English gār, meaning spear. In the course of time the word came to be used for a piece of cloth used in making clothes. In dressmaking and hat making, it refers to triangular or rhomboid pieces of fabric which are combined to create a fuller three dimensional effect.

I also came upon this fabulous website called The Renaissance Tailor that I have book marked for some later reading. There looks to be lots of great information on historical outfits, drafting, sewing techniques and more. I have put the link to the site map because the menus seem a bit haphazard.
There was a great section on gores and gussets that helped clear up some misconceptions I had.

So a skirt can be made from trapezoidal gores. My 8 gore skirt pattern is correctly named. I also made a godette skirt pattern. It seems that gore and godette are the same but I tend to lean towards a godette being the triangular insert in a gored skirt.

So what is the princess line? 
Well, this is a relatively new fashion term thought to be introduce by Charles Frederick Wentworth in the 1870s. he named it after the elegant Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

A princess line is cut in long panels without any waist seam. the curve of the panels shapes the waist.

In 1951 Christian Dior presented a collection called the Line Longue that was based on the princess line.
I found a useful A to Z of sewing and fashion terms at the Business of fashion website

So I am going to rename my 8 gore dress to the 8 panel princess line dress.


Fabulous Vintage Panels

I looked up some examples of princess line dresses and some variations. The princess line is common in vintage designs.






You can find all these and more in my Pinterest board


Using 1843 to Create These Designs

My Princess line dress pattern is a great starting pint for recreating all these vintage designs. I love the pockets set between the panels.
I'm thinking I will have to include a round neck version in the pattern. At present it is a sweet heart neckline but if you cut straight across from the shoulder point then sew the panels together you can use any bodice pattern piece to shape the neckline.

This is pattern 1843...


... and this is a variation I made using the add-on bibs collection 1804a and the collar from 1804.


If you want to join the discussion on designing doll clothes then you need to join my Facebook Group


See Part 2 on how to vary the princess line design, and

Part 3 a tutorial detailing how to use 1843 to make a new design.

Happy Doll Dressmaking,
Val